China and Inner Asia
Organized Panel Session
This panel explores migration, displacement, and transformation in Sinophone film and literature from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Myanmar, and Malaysia. Under the sway of global capitalism, the socio-political power dynamics within and across these geopolitical loci give rise to creation, contestation, and revision of meanings and values in Sinophone cultural practices. In opposition to and/or complicit with hegemony, different forms of border-crossing take place and produce agency and affects in these regions’ cultural production. Lawrence Zi-Qiao Yang examines the production of state ideology and the way the pathos of pre-1949 warfare was re-mediated into a postwar ethos of logistical (and affective) labor in Taiwan’s military films between the 50s and 60s. Also scrutinizing a transforming state ideology, Hsiu-Chuang Deppman investigates the heterotopia in Jia Zhangke’s The World and contemplates migrant workers’ struggle for social mobility and emotional outlets vis-à-vis their dehumanization and exploitation by China’s capital. Jessica Tsui-yan Li studies mainland China’s new economic paradigm and the illegal transactions between Hong Kong and mainland China and explores the remedial and cultural meanings of cannibalism in Lillian Lee’s Dumplings and its film adaptation. Her paper teases out the transgression of affective, carnal, cultural and sociopolitical boundaries in the consumption of aborted human fetus. Also focusing on the vexed relationship between the state and the subaltern, Chialan Sharon Wang looks into the exiled and border-crossing bodies in Chao Te-yin’s Road to Mandalay and Tan Seng Kiat’s Shuttle Life and discusses the films’ negotiation between re-presenting the silenced underclass and articulating new subjectivities.